Examination of Witness (Questions 280-283)|
18 JUNE 2003
Q280 Mr Hamilton: I presume that
there is an awful lot of heat generated by an explosive device.
Dr Inch: They are low-explosive
devices; they are not the big weapons; they are not high explosives.
It is the minimum amount of energy required to disseminate the
Q281 Mr Illsley: Given the difficulties
that the international communities faced in Iraq in that the inspectors
have had difficulty finding weapons and, as we understand it,
some part of the military were sent to search and try and locate
weapons and they failed and the difficulties faced by the Iraq
tear-away group, is inspection going to be a thing of the past
as a way of monitoring weapons of mass destruction in role countries?
Is it working as it should be or do we have to look for an alternative
way of policing weapons of mass destruction?
Dr Inch: It depends which ones
we are talking about in terms of the nuclear problem. Chemical
is very difficult and, in a sense, the current policing activities
probably internationally . . . Although they were intended originally
to build confidence and they have gone some way to doing that
but, as absolute deterrent, I do not think they work or will work.
The problem that we now have on this kind of system is not so
much the inter-state activity but the terrorist activity. Some
of us believe very strongly that the only way to counter that
is by much more national implementation of the inspection system
and greater awareness amongst the legitimate citizens and the
problems that could occur, but internationally because of the
commercial confidentiality and the dual use of these materials,
any legislation would be so draconian that I think it would be
Q282 Mr Illsley: Finally, just a
personal opinion given what you said this morning about not finding
trace elements and the length of time it takes, do you think we
are going to find any weapons in Iraq?
Dr Inch: I have no idea. I am
totally open. I started by saying that sometimes intelligence
get it right and sometimes they get it wrong and I think that
we are still in that situation. From the Committee's point of
view, I would have to take a much closer look at some of the data
to see how much you believe.
Q283 Chairman: After lecturers by
all the best scientists, we are still confused but at a much higher
level of confusion. Thank you very much indeed.
Dr Inch: I will try and let you
have a few notes on this.
Chairman: We look forward to your further
4 Ninth Report from the Foreign Affairs Committee,
Session 2002-03, The Decision to go to War in Iraq, HC
813-II, Ev 2. Back